I AM Part of the Resistance (by Thomas J. Gray)

UPDATE: I’ve received notification by Thomas J. Gray that he is the author of this piece.  By the time I had seen it on facebook, it had been added to – so I am updating this post to more accurately reflect the original wording.  I liked much of what had been added, and I understand that in the passion of those first horrible days, many felt similar feelings and simply added their own parts.   This phrase was added:

The survival of our democracy and our way of life demands that we stand and resist. So I will Resist. I AM part of the Resistance, and I AM proud of it.

Here is the original, by Thomas J. Gray:

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The History Behind the 2016 Coup

Sometimes it’s challenging to decide where to start with a Backstory.  History’s threads weave through a lot of current events.  But the coup of November 2016 has a somewhat clear place to start.  Let’s look at a bit of history for the backstory.

In 1933, wealthy right-wing  corporatists conspired to execute a coup and oust FDR, disliking his New Deal policies of helping the poor, ending child labor – and his decision to stop using the US Military to support oppressive corporations like United Fruit in the third world.

Their goal was to emulate the corporate fascism of Hitler and Mussolini that was happening in Europe at that time, instead of what was shaping up to become a liberal democracy.

smedleybutler

General Smedley Butler

They approached Marine General Smedley Butler, the most highly respected Military officer in the US at the time,  for assistance — but they guessed wrong.  He remained loyal and gathered details, then, reported the treasonous conspirators.  The attempted coup, now often called The Wall Street Putsch,  failed.  There were some hearings, but, the House was reluctant to investigate such wealthy pillars of society.  In fact, being wealthy, the plotters were not held to account. (If you do a search for “FDR coup Gen Smedly Butler”online, you’ll find a large amount of information.) For the most factual read,  Here are transcripts of General Butler’s testimony and later interviews giving tons of detail.

Next time, a more subtle plot had to be devised.

Wealthy corporatists  came up with a devious plan, slowly building their control over government over several decades through electing conservative Republicans and “Blue Dog” Democrats. More

A New, Delicate Balance of Activism and Love

Those who are paying attention are aware that the US government will be taken over by true fascism come Jan 21. A pro-torture, pro-war, racist, white nationalist, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti LGBTQ, anti-civil rights, anti-free speech regime has committed a coup (with the help of far-right elements within the FBI and Russian hackers). trumpreichAccording to the NSA, the 2016 elections were hacked and manipulated  — even though the majority of citizens are repulsed by their ideas.  And even though their opponent has, at this writing, about 1.5 MILLION more votes, and counting.

Those in government and the press have accepted the results and are readying us to comply with the new fascism.  But we will not.

We are now being called to walk in a very specific state of consciousness: we who are loving, caring, people cannot allow ourselves to be drawn down into the hate and violence of the tRump regime and  his “brownshirt” supporters. But neither can we just hope that meditation, staying positive, and remaining centered will protect the defenseless.  History shows us that all our beautiful energy cannot always stop monsters. More

Bernie says Hillary on worst day better than any GOP on best – The Supreme Court

BirdieSandersAnyone who’s read this blog for any amount of time knows that I’m an enthusiastic Bernie supporter.

Bernie — plus a HUUUGE  turn-out for Progressives in the Senate and House  — could mean a GREAT change for the citizens of this country:

 

  • Imagine an economy designed to actually serve the citizens instead of only the elite.
  • Imagine FDR’s Second Bill of Rights becoming reality.
  • Imagine getting money out of politics and having an actual democracy.
  • Imagine the end of “too big to fail”, breaking up the big banks, and ending monopolies — especially that of our of our media institutions, so that the citizenry could have a chance to hear diverse opinions and values.
  • Imagine single payer health care, freeing us all from the profiteering insurance, medical and pharmacy complexes.
  • Imagine restoring our infrastructure, with the federal government creating good jobs as the CCC and other government programs that lifted our citizenry out of poverty in the 1930s.
  • Imagine our country getting very serious about cleaning up our environment, tackling it like we did the race to land on the moon back in the 1960s.
  • Imagine our taxes actually being spent on making ALL our lives better, creating more EQUALITY and SERVICES for ALL — instead of subsidizing multinational corporations, polluting corporations, Big-AG, and “defense” contractors.
  • Imagine restoring the tax rate on the wealthy plutocrat/polluter class to what it was during Eisenhower, when the US economy created the biggest middle-class in history: with unions insuring good wages, good benefits, vacation and retirement for the workers who actually built this country.

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Democratic Socialism and Un-Democratic US Oligarchs

Let’s talk a little bit about Democratic Socialism, such as found in Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Who doesn’t want a society that is based upon equality?

Who doesn’t want a society where each member is well educated and healthy?

Why do you think Democratic Socialist societies are alway — always– listed in the top Happiest Countries on Earth?  Every Year.

It is because the taxes they collectively pay are used to provide each member of their society with high quality health care, high quality education, and social services. More

Couldn’t Say It Better Myself – Message to US Citizens

This person’s essay is so good that I’ll just let him speak for himself.  The entire thing is well worth reading for just a bit of common sense.  Check out his site for more.

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DROPPING SOME TRUTH

rant-warningI feel the need to drop a little truth on y’all. So buckle up…I’m about to be politically incorrect.

We don’t need to take America back. No one stole it. It’s right here…you’re sitting in it. Chillax.

Mexico isn’t going to pay for the wall and we’re not going to deport millions of people and break up families. If you think either one is a good idea, you’re not smart and probably not a person I want to hang out with.

We don’t live in a democracy. Technically we are a Federal Republic. But in reality we are ruled by an oligarchy. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Reading will do you good. You probably need to do more of it. More

Iceland Unemployment Drops to 2% – Policies To Rebuild the USA

Unlike other countries, Iceland did the right thing for their people.  And now they’re reaping the rewards.

Many other countries?   Not so much.

Still in thrall to the banksters (banks have been allowed to grow even larger than they were before they crashed the global economy in 2008)  millions of people in the US are hungry, homeless, and desperate.   Sadly, “too big to fail” has quickly become “too powerful to prosecute” in the USA.

Here’s a great post about Iceland’s smart decision and how it helped their people avoid the misery imposed by the bankster class upon the rest of us. Iceland continues to show by example what can be done, and despite a complete media black-out on their progressive changes, people all over the globe are cheering.

However, imagine this: class warfare won’t work if we disable the weapon: Inequality.  Greed and avarice are mental disorders, not traits of good human beings.   We need to stand up to those intent upon extracting wealth at the expense of our planet, our wildlife, and our people.  It takes courage, but every day people are making changes and taking action.  We see small steps happening right now, in communities all over the planet.  Even on a state level:North Dakota is the only state showing a surplus today, because they have created a state owned bank. (see #8 below)

Of course, we’d like to see our societies get healthy NOW.  I remind myself that it does take time to slow down a rushing train…even when that train is headed for the precipice of misery, ecological destruction, and possible extinction.

A fabulous article by Sarah Van Gelder of YES magazine outlines 8 policies that could be taken to help human beings in the US right now.  Here they are, excerpted from the article:

1. House the homeless.

While some cities are criminalizing homelessness, the state of Utah has chosen a simple and compassionate approach: giving people homes. With a roof over their heads, people can take on substance abuse, recover from domestic violence, look for work or attend school. There are no strings attached. These residents are not required to be sober or to get help, although they are encouraged to do so. The result: a 78 percent reduction in homelessness, and the state expects to have ended homelessness by 2015.

2. A debt-free college education.

A college degree should not require decades of indebtedness. The average student debt now sits at just under $30,000. Oregon has found a good solution. By a unanimous vote, the legislature adopted a plan call “Pay it Forward, Pay it Back,” which creates a special fund that will allow students to attend state universities tuition-free. In exchange, they will pay 3 percent of their salaries for up to 24 years after graduation. This plan lowers the barriers for anyone who is willing to work hard for an education.

3. Medicare for all.

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was designed to allow insurance companies to continue profiting from our health care system. The result is a system bogged down in bureaucracy, with multiple plans offering benefits and expenses at different levels and a complex system of subsidies designed to make private insurance affordable.

The upshot? We’ll still be spending a major portion of our health care dollars on overhead and profits (estimates range up to 30 percent), making medical care less affordable for us as patients and as taxpayers. Medicare, on the other hand, provides health coverage for about 3 percent overhead. The state of Vermont is among the states looking at adopting a plan like Canada’s, in which everyone receives coverage similar to Medicare. Relieving us of the cost burden of a bureaucratic health coverage system could do a lot to relieve poverty.

4. End the war on drugs.

The United States imprisons its people at the highest rate in the world; more than 2 million Americans are now behind bars. This is devastating to impoverished families and communities, especially communities of color. And it costs taxpayerson average over $30,000 per year per inmate—much of which goes to a private prison system that lobbies for tougher prison terms to keep their facilities full.

Even years after their release, many formerly imprisoned adults are unable to get jobs or receive public services, and many aren’t allowed to vote. Ending the failed “War on Drugs” in favor of substance abuse treatment would save taxpayers billions and allow vulnerable families and communities to heal. Washington and Colorado have taken an important first step in this direction by legalizing (and taxing) marijuana.

5. Guarantee everyone a basic income.

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama celebrated the drop in unemployment rates. The truth is that there simply aren’t enough jobs for those who would like them; 10.4 million remain unemployed and an additional 10.2 million have temporarily given up looking or work part time because they can’t find full-time jobs. There were on average 2.7 unemployed people for every job opening, as of November.

Instead of punishing these people, or the disabled, or those raising children or caring for elders, we could simply guarantee everyone a basic income. Many countries in Europe do this. A guaranteed minimum income could simplify safety net programs while making sure no one is destitute. And, since everyone would have money to spend, it would maintain a stable customer base for businesses.

6. Invest in averting more climate emergencies.

Extreme weather is now costing the world $1.2 trillion a year, according to The Guardian. Climate change threatens the southwest with drought, coastal regions with flooding, vast areas of the west with wildfires, and the Midwest with tornedoes. Cities around the country may face extreme heat, and even the extreme cold experienced by much of the country in January is likely a function ofdisruptions in the jet stream caused by a warming Arctic region.

These changes are happening with only 0.8 degrees of warming over pre-industrial levels, but much more is on the way. Instead of the “all-of-the-above” energy strategy President Obama promoted in his State of the Union address, we need to invest in an all-out effort to convert to a climate-friendly economy.

Doing so would not only help avert even greater climate-related disasters, it would employ Americans in jobs located here at home. And the spin-off benefits would include cleaner air, more resilient and up-to-date infrastructure, and efficient public transportation.

7. Scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

…And other trade deals that favor transnational corporations over American workers and local businesses. The TPP is being negotiated in secret but leaked documents suggest it would trump local and national food safety laws, clean air and water standards, land use regulations, and other laws that protect our way of life. Buy America and buy local policies could be outlawed, as could regulations to avert another Wall Street meltdown, leaving our economies vulnerable.

And, just like with NAFTA, jobs and wages could take a big hit from the TPP. According to the Economic Policy Institute, NAFTA resulted in a net loss of 1 million jobs from 1994 to 2006. And, according to a recent report by Public Citizen, workers without college degrees (who make up 63 percent of the work force) saw a loss of about 12 percent of their earnings as a result of NAFTA, even when the savings from cheaper imported goods are factored in.

We don’t need trade deals that favor transnational corporations over the rest of us, and Vernon County, Wisc., is among the local jurisdictions that don’t mind saying so.

8. Establish ­­­state banks that invest in us, not Wall Street.

The state of North Dakota set up a public bank in 1919 to hold the state’s deposits and to be the source of credit for state investments. Profits from the bank go back into the state treasury—not to Wall Street.

The result? North Dakota is the only state that has consistently enjoyed a budget surplus, even during the recent recession, and has very low rates of unemployment (its reserves of oil are not the only reason). The bank also partners with community banks, which are in the best position to make loans to local businesses, keeping borrowing costs low in communities throughout the state. It’s a great model that builds our wealth and the prosperity of our locally rooted business sector, instead of the profits of Wall Street banks.

After years of working with this Congress, it’s understandable that the ambitions President Obama spoke to in his State of the Union address are so much lower than when he was elected.

But to achieve real, sustainable prosperity, we need to take on the underlying causes of economic insecurity. That means standing up to the corporations pressing for the TPP and continued lax regulation of Wall Street. And it means confronting head-on what may be the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced—the climate crisis.

To build a sustainable society that works for everyone, bold solutions are what we need. Fortunately, many of the solutions described here are already being pioneered by wise state and local leaders. Their courage and vision are worth emulating.

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